The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), along with numerous organisations and public figures, believes that the murder of Jo Cox MP was an act of terrorism that must be described as such.

Following the shock that swept over the nation on Thursday amid the brutal shooting and stabbing of Jo Cox in front of her surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire, the suspect’s defiance in court and his chants ‘Death to Traitors; Freedom for Britain’, leaves absolutely no doubt as to the motives and nature of this heinous attack.

It is shocking how several media outlets, political figures and commentators have held back from stating the obvious, choosing instead to highlight the killer’s mental state, as though calling for a degree of sympathy from the British public. One could only imagine how different the media coverage, public statements and demands and the accompanying language would have been had the assailant been a Muslim. This hypocrisy on behalf of large sections of the media, public figures and political commentators must be called out and brought to an end.

The fact that Thomas Mair, allegedly a member of a Far-Right group, murdered an elected Member of Parliament in cold blood, as she had just finished meeting her constituents, in broad daylight and in front of passing witnesses, must be seen as a direct attack on British democracy and hence an unequivocal terrorist attack. Calling it by any other name would be callous at best, dangerous and of serious consequences at worst.

The Muslim Association of Britain, calls on the British government to treat this crime as such, and for the British media to exercise a greater level of responsibility towards the public narrative which is gradually assuming that a crime of such magnitude committed by a white man is seen differently than one committed by a non-white, particularly Muslim man. If allowed to thrive or given oxygen to breath, such a narrative will undoubtedly have serious consequences on the future safety, stability and harmony of our society.

It is also time that the Home Secretary particularly, looked into the grave dangers posed by the British Far-Right movement on our collective security and took measures to counter those.

The heinous and tragic crime that robbed the country of a fantastic elected Member of Parliament, has brought the country together. It would be a great shame and even greater loss should this moment be scuppered by an irresponsible, politically driven and entirely misjudged response, on the levels of both narrative and policy.

Muslim Association of Britain
20th of June 2016